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Trad Climber

The Great Stuff Men Do

Achieving gender equality depends on men.  If we continue as we are, with women pushing for gender equality largely alone, or supported by a minority of  progressive and engaged men, gender equality is going to take another 81 years to happen – beyond both mine and my child’s lifetime.

Today, on International Men’s Day, I want to share something about how the men in my climbing life have helped me to move to a climbing grade I never thought I would achieve.  I admit that I’m, perhaps, so strong and passionate an advocate of equality, so vocal about the inequalities I perceive, that the men around me can feel under attack and then defensive.  This holds back the advancement of equality, because in this defensive situation, no-one is learning new ways of thinking or doing things.   I felt today was a good day to reflect on the positive stuff and how men have made a difference in my climbing life.

WCS 2016 // Review // The Talks!

It’s hard to imagine the team at Women’s Climbing Symposium could improve their events from the previous years but we think they did just that. WCS 2016 saw 400 women from all over the country (and around the world too!) gather together to hear motivating and informative talks, learn some invaluable skills in workshops and network with like-minded super psyched people.

As always it was a star studded event with headline speakers Lisa Rands, Jo Pavey and WCS’s very own Shauna Coxsey, not to mention the plethora of high end climbing crushers like Leah Crane, Mina Leslie Wyjastyk and Suz Dudikn, to name but a few! This year there was theme of goals and so it was great that some of the speakers included women that pushed the boundaries of societal expectations and choose their own paths in life, among them outdoor leader Libby peter, nutritionist Rebecca Dent and entrepreneur Rachael Briggs.

Our very own Zoe gives us a taste of what some of the talks were like…

Climbing Frog Belay Glasses // Review

Belay glasses seem to be all the rage at the moment.  They’re a save-all for your neck, according to the manufacturers and thankfully the cost of a pair has reduced dramatically in recent times.  Today we review the Climbing Frog brand of belay glasses, which come in at less than half the price of some premium brands (with 10% off for 10 of our readers, so get in quick).  But… do you get less bang for your buck or are these a winning pair of neck-saving specs?  Beth and Emily from Womenclimb both tried them out independently; it’s time to find out their verdict:

Bosigran, Cornwall // Outdoor Climbing Venue // Review

The West Penwith area in Cornwall is full of solid (mostly!) granite climbing and outstanding scenery. This place is not only packed with top class rock but also beautiful beaches and moorland coastline, making it accessible for families as well as groups of friends and couples. Bosigran has a great reputation for long low and mid-grade climbing and we were not disappointed….

Perfect for… 

Classic multi-pitch routes and incredible views. Sunny afternoon climbing- The main cliff gets the afternoon sun and dries quickly after rain. It is also useful for viewing Commando ridge (aka Bosigran ridge) which is opposite the main cliff.

What I like the most… 

Alderman Rocks, Chew Valley

Having scrambled around Alderman Rocks a couple of times before, I was confident heading there for my first climb of the season outdoors. I’m still fairly new to trad climbing, don’t lead and am still cautious about who I climb with and where. So it was good to go somewhere I felt I knew.

Despite its position high above the Chew Valley in Oldham, Alderman Rocks is a friendly crag with a good variety of easy and harder routes.

How to Get Over a Climbing Fall

A fall can be nothing and everything depending on the outcome. Not many people enjoy falling and the aim of climbing is too often to complete your bucket list of routes, without taking a fall. Sometimes however, the artist makes a mistake – hopefully they get straight back on the rock to perfect the move, but other times they can’t walk away from the fall and it is a long wait before the next attempt at any route outdoors.

The Great Trad Quest #WomenOutdoors

#WomenOutdoorsweek is here.  We've asked real women to help us by telling us what they're doing in their climbing lives.  Today we have Rosie Henstock's guide to getting better at trad climbing.  [caption id="attachment_2822" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Me and my friends having just climbed Direct Route, Glyder...

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Almscliff // Outdoor Climbing Venue // Review

Beth, our very own Womenclimb contributor set out to give you lovely readers a first hand account of the popular Yorkshire climbing venue of Almscliff.

Almscliff is an impressive grit stone crag in the heart of Yorkshire jutting out of a sea of finely combed fields and against a backdrop of distant viaducts and farmlands. The crag lies a few miles north of Leeds and Bradford and the parking is plenty with a 5-10 minute easy walk in on a footpath.  It has an “unmissable” reputation, being a natural crag which is very accessible with a wide range of grades to suit beginners to seasoned trad legends. Read on to see if this venue should be on your ticklist….

#GetOutdoors Profile: Mandy Glanvill

navigation1For today’s Get Outdoors Profile we’re heading up to the beautiful Lake District where Mandy Glanvill runs her business Womenrock. As the name suggests, Mandy focuses on working mostly with women, she explains that “It is important when you are new to this challenging activity, or if you are wishing to develop and push your limits, that you get the maximum support and feel as relaxed as possible. For many women it is much easier to achieve this relaxed and supportive atmosphere in an all female group.” Although the focus is on building the confidence of women climbers, Mandy also works with mixed groups, individuals and small family groups.

La Sportiva Katana Velcro Rock Shoe // Review

Love…

Comfort and feel. They are a comfort/performance hybrid so edging is really precise but could also wear on long multi-pitch routes. The blue and green show looks great too!

Would like to see…..

Them change the women’s fit from pink to something else! Better durability in the toe

**Overall rating

Criteria Grade
Value for Money 4
Design 4
Comfort & Fit 5
Durability 3
Functionality 4
Total out of 25 20

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The Best British Climbers?

Last year I was asked to put together a list of climbers ‘of note’ to help a member of staff working in an outdoor centre. The centre had a series of rooms, all named after male climbers and she wanted to encourage the inclusion of notable female climbers. If you’re curious about who’s on the list, read on. You might disagree, leave us a comment if you do!

Climber Bio // Rocio Siemens

‘You are not alone.  Being afraid is normal.’  

These are the words of Rocio Siemens.  Rocio (pronounced Rotheo) is a 5ft 5 (165cm) tall Spaniard who started climbing at the age of 21.  Depending on how stretchy the material is she is a size 10 or 12.  Born in 1975, she is 41 years old at the time of writing.  She is an International Mountain Guide and an IFMGA member who climbs all sorts of winter and summer routes in the UK and beyond.  Her short answers are an incredibly insightful look into the life and experience of this climber.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Ella Williams // Climber Bio

Ella Williams - Outdoor Instructor‘Climbing for me is like a dance, when I am in the moment I don’t have to think about what I’m doing.’

Ella Williams is an outdoors instructor living in North Wales.  At the time of writing, she was 29 years old, born in 1987, having started rock climbing at the age of 26.  She is 5ft1 (155cm tall). We met Ella on a climbing weekend in north Wales in 2015, where she showed her love of sharing the outdoors with others.  This is a really beautiful piece of writing, enjoy.

Climbing without an ACL

For my entire climbing life, I have climbed with an ACL injury.  The Anterior Cruciate Ligament is one of a pair of cruciate ligaments in the knee, forming a cross shape with the Posterior Cruciate Ligament. It provides crucial stability to the knee, preventing the knee from twisting and rotating.  You can find out more in this Youtube video about what the ACL is and what it does.

Background – how I tore my ACL

The lowdown: Anodised Climbing Gear
Climbing Gear on an Alpkit Bouldering matt

A trad rack of assorted anodised and non-anodised nuts, cams, slings, carabiners and more!

Is there a difference between anodised and non-anodised climbing gear?  If you’ve been into a climbing shop recently or been trad climbing you will probably have seen loads of nuts hanging around – some just silver and others in bright shiny colours.  The coloured ones may look very nice, but why would you spend extra money on anodised climbing nuts or anodised friends/ camming devices?

In Memory of Rachel Slater

By Penny Harvey:
‘An amazing climber who never failed to inspire those she met’  

Rachel Slater CelebratingRachel Slater touched the lives of many people. She squeezed more into her 24 short years than most people even dare to dream about. She wasn’t always fearless, but she was always brave, determined, kind and humble. She believed in many people more than they dared to themselves. Her passion and her character inspired many; those of us blessed enough to call her a friend will never forget her spirit. Here are some snapshots of her life from people who will continue to honour her memory.